The Best Training Metric

Training can often be a tricky thing to measure. Just because it’s difficult, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. After all, when the people who make budget decisions decide to ask what the value of your training program is, you’ll need a good answer.

With today’s blog, I’m going to try something a little different. I’d like to get your thoughts, dear reader, on the following question. Share your thoughts in the comment section. I’ll come back on Thursday summarizing all the thoughts that are contributed here and add my own thoughts as well.

The question: Which of the following is the BEST metric to measure a training program

  1. 97% of staff have completed the 75-minute mandatory Unconscious Bias training session since its roll-out six weeks ago.
  2. Average participant feedback scores for this training component were 4.8 out of a possible 5.
  3. The eLearning module cost us $18,900 to produce. Employees who completed it have seen re-work errors drop by 24%, saving an average of 2.25 hours of re-work per employee per day. This equates to an average daily boost in productivity of $540, or $2,700 per week.
  4. speech bubble representing trainee feedback“This was by far the most interesting and engaging eLearning module I’ve taken in my 10 years of working for this organization!”
  5. Participant post-test scores rose by an average of 17% compared to their pre-test scores.
  6. Following the roll-out of the new customer service training, customer wait times have been reduced by an average of 2 minutes per call.
  7. The Net Promoter Score (NPS) on our 1-day New Employee Orientation program is 54.
  8. trend line showing improvementLocations that have completed this 2-day training program have realized a 13% increase in revenue compared to those who have not yet completed this training program.
  9. “Thanks for offering this. I’m pretty sure I’ll be better with difficult customers when I head into work tomorrow.”
  10. After 3 months, 78% of learners who responded to the survey said they were still applying the new technique.
  11. Pie Chart88% of participants responded that they are either extremely likely or likely to apply these skills in their work.
  12. After 90 days 62% of managers reported that employees are applying new skills after the training.

Give me some thoughts about which of these is the most powerful metric (and why) in the Comment section, and I’ll compile what’s written and add my own thoughts this Thursday.

13 thoughts on “The Best Training Metric

  1. I will sit on the fence and say that ‘It depends on the goal of the training’ and ‘What is it you are measuring’.

    Ultimately I believe, that in context they are all important measures as they measure the training experience (#2 & #4), learning (#5), behaviour change ( #10 & #12), and impact on the business (#3 & #8).

    They are all valuable metrics that can be used at various times to measure engagement, impact and effectiveness, and a well designed training programme should combine a variety of these metrics.

  2. I like the quotes, especially #4 that stated it was, “… the best training in 10 years.” The quote is easy to remember and shows how the training resonated with the audience. The numbers, or data as listed in # 3 with the cost savings, is powerful too and this is an important thing to include with the testimonials as it takes any testimonial to a new level.

  3. This is really interesting!!

    I believe the answer for this could be “different strokes for different folks”

    I would want to present metric
    # 1 to HR
    # 7 to all.
    # 3 to the stakeholders who are involved in signing of the budget.
    # 8 to business leaders
    # 6 to participants managers and participants
    # 2, 4, 5, 12 to the training team ( people creating the content and facilitator) They need immediate gratification for their work.

  4. Your question is about the “value of the training program”. There are different kinds of values, as your list suggests. There are also different goals. So I’d want to know what the desired outcomes of the training were, and then develop a post-training survey that sought to pull out data on that metric. Specificity to the goal is key.

    Of the list you gave, my choices are:
    #12 (because this shows “stickiness” and all managers, not just the ones that answered the survey),
    #8 (comparison metric of impact within same system),
    #3 (documents ROI, and with eLearning it’s systemically repeatable for all new employees), and
    #6 (if we assume that reducing customer wait times was the goal)

    Fun exercise – thanks!

  5. Hi Brian. To me, it’s number 10. I believe having longevity in your training will have the most impact long-term and give the company sustainability and greater productivity.

  6. I actually think most of those points are valuable indicators of traction of the training, apart from those couple that were a simple statistic, 97% completed, whilst at a compliance level that may be needed, seeing increases in positive work actions and reductions on negative ones are pleasing if attributable to the training in part/all, also seeing attitudes to training change- “that module was the most engaging in 10 years” etc.

  7. 3 and 8 are tied to business goals and will resonate with everyone from management to marketing. There are some other decent ones in there, and of course you included some that are as familiar as they are meaningless. Well done!

  8. #3 is the most powerful, in my opinion. It gives measurable results that equate to the value of the training. We can easily see that at the rate of improvement from those who have taken the training the course pays for it’s self in seven weeks. And, there is an assumption that not all staff have taken the course so that number may go down. Money talks.

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